April 28, 2009

40 films | 40 years

Having just turned 40 I thought I'd look back at the last 40 years and some key films released each of those 40 years that have shaped my appreciation for cinema in some way, shape or form. And so...here you have it..."40 films 40 years."

1968: George Dunning, Yellow Submarine

1969: Jean-Pierre Melville, L’ Armée des ombres/Army of Shadows

1970: Robert Altman, M*A*S*H

1971: Sam Peckinpah, Straw Dogs

1972: Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather

1973: William Friedkin, The Exorcist

1974: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ali: Fear Eats The Soul

1975: Milos Forman, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

1976: Sidney Lumet, Network

1977: George Lucas, Star Wars

1978: Alan Parker, Midnight Express

1979: Francis Ford Coppola: Apocalypse Now

1980: Martin Scorsese, Raging Bull

1981: Stephen Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark

1982: Richard Attenborough, Ghandi

1983: David Cronenberg, Videodrome

1984: Jim Jarmusch, Stranger Than Paradise

1985: Terry Gilliam, Brazil

1986: Brothers Quay, Street of Crocodiles

1987: Barbet Schroeder, Barfly

1988: Mira Nair, Salaam Bombay!

1989: Denys Arcand, Jesus of Montreal

1990: Luc Besson, La Femme Nikita

1991: Jonathan Demme, Silence of the Lambs

1992: Neil Jordan, The Crying Game

1993: Jim Sheridan, In The Name of the Father

1994: Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

1995: Michael Radford, Il Postino (The Postman)

1996: Joel Coen, Fargo

1997: Roberto Benigni, Life is Beautiful

1998: Wes Anderson, Rushmore

1999: Andy & Larry Wachowski, The Matrix

2000: Steven Soderbergh, Traffic

2001: Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind

2002: Fernando Meirelles, Cidade de Deus/City of God

2003: Mikael Håfström, Ondscan/Evil

2004: Michel Gondry, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2005: Fernando Meirelles, The Constant Gardener

2006: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel

2007: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

2008: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight

April 4, 2009

"Notes for a War Story" by Gipi (First Second, 2007)

What I liked about Gipi's "Notes for a War Story" was that he purposely did not attach time or geographic reference. This is a war story befitting of anyplace at any time--Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa...America. The story is not so much about war...but life after war. Especially in that time between the resolve of war and the relative peace that follows. War, in this story, shatters the lives of several young men. Their sense of place, community, family and purpose all impacted by war. Superbly drawn and told--"Notes..." is a gripping story that leaves you wondering what will happen next.

"Persepolis 1 & 2" by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon, 2004/2005)

In the case of "Persepolis"--DO NOT see the movie first. I saw the movie after reading the two graphic novels and while it was interesting, it leaves out much of the detail presented in the books. A few months before I picked up "Persepolis" I had caught the BBC documentary "Rageh Inside Iran" (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/rageh-inside-iran/) which presented several unique stories of Iranian people. My hairdresser is also from Iran. One of my current favorite singers, Azam Ali, is an Iranian transplant to the United States. Iran's history has impacted our lives in the U.S. Whether it was the hostages back in the Carter and Reagan eras; or the current administration in Iran; we are impacted by this country so far away. "Persepolis" gives some insights into the life of someone growing up and living in Iran over the past 40 years. This graphic novel fills us in on life in this misunderstood country.